Icebreakers are a great way to kick off a meeting and help lighten the mood, especially if you’re onboarding new hires and introducing them to your team.
How you start a meeting can determine the mood and participation of your attendees, the flow of the meeting, as well as tell you how productive the meeting will turn out to be.
But let’s be real, people cringe when they hear the word ‘icebreakers’ — More often than not, icebreakers remind people of boring and awkward activities. However, that’s not the case here!
In this article, we share 23 fun icebreaker questions, games, and activities to give your meetings a refresh!
‘What do we have in common?’ is a perfect game to get to know more about your team members. This activity is most suitable for new hires and small teams. The point of this game is to find people who have similar interests as you and bond over that.
Get your team leader or manager to get the ball rolling and identify 5 to 10 things that you have in common with each other. Don’t point out obvious commonalities, like ‘we all have ears’ or ‘we are wearing clothes’.
It could be something like ‘I love watching Friends’, or ‘I love baking cakes’. When someone else identifies with that interest, you can start to see them share more about their passion for the subject.
You’ll be surprised to see how comfortable and enthusiastic everyone gets when they start warming up to this icebreaker.
We are sure that you’ve played this in your childhood. Also known as ‘Would you rather?’, ‘This or That?’ is a classic game where you offer the players two choices to know more about their preferences and priorities.
Workshops, team-building exercises, and business development sessions often use this game to get participants engaged in discussions and build camaraderie among peers.
Some popular questions you can ask include:
You can even take it up a notch and provide two options that are bizarre or get them thinking, like:
Another classic game on this is ‘Who was it?’.
The way this works is to have each person write down a unique, bizarre, or unexpected fact about themselves on a piece of paper. Then, put all of the papers in a hat and mix them up. Choose at random and read it aloud.
Then ask the team to try and guess who wrote it. After they make a guess, ask the employee who composed the fact to identify themselves and provide further explanation, if necessary.
This game will definitely make up for some funny conversations, and it’s great for getting to know one another better.
This is kind of a no-brainer, but asking enjoyable questions is a simple and effective icebreaker. Simply ask a question to the floor and everyone has to answer.
Whether to keep your questions fun or professional is up to you. Here are a few examples,
This will not only get people to think more creatively, but it would also encourage conversation on issues not typically discussed inside offices, allowing your employees to form a more informal connection.
If you could is similar to ‘Would you rather?’ where you ask questions to get attendees to think creatively. You present some options and get them to support their argument, which can get people to open up more.
Some questions include:
This is one of my personal favorite games to play, and I still do it for fun with my friends!
The host of the meeting should read out questions or statements and for each statement that is true to them, attendees should put one finger down. The person who puts all their fingers down could be given a small prize to encourage participation.
Some topics you can center your questions around include:
Using the One Word icebreaker is a strong way to establish the meeting’s topic and set the mood for discussion for everyone.
The way it works is you need to divide the meeting attendees into small groups and ask them a question which they have to answer in just one word.
For instance, if you are hosting a meeting for product marketing, you could ask something like “What are the most popular marketing trends today?” This will not only allow you to come up with several ideas within a short period, but it’ll also make your meetings shorter and to the point.
Some other fun one-word questions you can ask include:
Show and tell is one of the best ways to break the ice and immediately draw everyone’s attention.
It’s a simple game wherein you need to ask your attendees to show an object they love or are proud of. It can be a collectible, an award, a childhood memory, etc.
Humans are shown to love stories. Ask them about the story behind the collectible and see how interesting and effective this turns out to be.
Do you want to get to know your team better? The best way to do that is to form an informal relationship with them.
This icebreaker activity will be a great opportunity for you to break the ice and gain insight into each other’s lives.
Before the video call begins, send out a team message to find the most recent embarrassing/awkward/proud photo on their phone and post it in the group chat. Start with your photo to get them more comfortable.
Then ask each of them about the story behind their photo. Since everyone has one or more such pictures on their phones, this ice breaker will get some relatable stories and laughs.
There’s nothing better to get that adrenaline rushing than a feeling of competitiveness. That’s why to loosen everyone up and get them in the right mindset for a meeting, you might want to consider putting a short pop quiz on the board at the beginning of the meeting.
You can use a platform like Kahoot to host the quiz. It can be about anything like trivia on movies, books, and TV shows, or you could add a professional touch and have quizzes about your industry, brand, and company.
These quizzes can be played in both online and offline meetings.
If you’re working in close quarters with your team for long periods, it’s important to have a solid social foundation. 2 truths and 1 lie is a great way to start forming those bonds.
Herein, you can ask any member on your team 3 facts about themself — disguising 1 as a lie. The rest of the team has to guess which ones are true and which one is a lie.
Once you’ve got a few rounds in, you’ll start to learn things about each other. You’ll learn about each other’s passions, favorite foods, favorite books, etc.
The name is self-explanatory. It is a group activity wherein you ask everybody in the group to write their name, initial job, and what they learned from that job. Then go around the group and have everyone read theirs out.
This provides a good opportunity for the group to find out new things regarding one another while not getting too uncomfortably personal.
You can also combine this with the previous game (who was it), the rest all remain the same except none of the employees disclose their names on the chits.
Themed meetings will not only work as great ice-breakers but also keep the mood lightened up throughout the meeting.
You can encourage your team to dress up as their favorite TV character, superhero, or animal, decorate your virtual background with themed images, and even play themed games. Themed meetings are especially great around the holiday season like Halloween or Christmas as people can dress up accordingly.
This can be a great way to boost morale and team spirit, especially if you’re all working from home.
If you have some time to spare, personality tests are a great way to get to know each other more. You might just be surprised at who’s an extrovert and introvert.
To get started, simply find a personality quiz online (like this one) and get your attendees to complete the quiz. Once they’ve completed the test, get each person to share their results and whether they agree or disagree with the findings. More often than not, they end up learning more about themselves as well!
When talking about icebreaker games, you can’t leave our Pictionary! Pictionary is essentially a word-guessing game in which one player chooses a word at random and draws it, while the other players attempt to identify the word.
It is an awesome game for getting everyone to interact with each other, even if you’ve got a big team. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business or a large corporation, everyone can play. Plus, it’s fun and relaxing!
You can play it in both online and offline meetings.
Mini scavenger hunts are perfect for an icebreaker because they not only get the mood going but also something that can work towards team-building.
In a scavenger hunt, you simply divide your team into groups and give each group a shortlist of items to find—a list that includes things like having them look for things like a red stapler, a green piece of paper, etc.
Whoever finds all the objects first wins the prize. Moreover, this can be played regardless of whether the meeting is online or offline.
Marshmallow is a popular work game invented by Tom Wujec. He believes that this game forces your team members to work together hence getting rid of any rigidity or stiffness before the work meeting starts.
You’ll need to provide your employees with 4 objects i.e. 20 spaghetti sticks, a yard of string, a yard of tape, and a marshmallow.
The objective of this game is to build the tallest freestanding structure out of these objects with the Marshmallow always being at the top of the structure. Whoever does it correctly gets the prize.
Who doesn’t like some lame and cheesy humor? Hosting any kind of competition in itself lifts the whole mood of the staff but on top of that, if it’s related to humor and comedy, you are bound to get some fun interactions.
Dad jokes are the perfect way to break the ice and lighten the mood. They’re also a great way to show your colleagues that you’re human and that you have a sense of humor.
Ask your colleagues to tell you the best dad jokes they’ve got and whoever makes you laugh is declared the winner.
We can’t make a list of fun games without including charades in it.
Charades is a game where you’ll have to divide your staff into 2 or 3 teams and every member is given a turn to act out something ( i.e. movie, shows, songs, or professions) while the other teams have to guess what’s being said. The one who guesses it right gets the point.
The reason why it is a great ice breaker is that it can be played offline as well as in remote meetings. Moreover, almost everyone will already be familiar with the game so you won’t have to waste time explaining the rules.
This game is sure to get people thinking on their feet from the adrenaline! In small teams, have one person start by picking a category, then quickly naming an item under that category.
For example, if the first person says colors, they’ll have to name one color. Then, go clockwise (or counterclockwise, whichever you feel is comfortable) and the next person will have to say another color.
If anyone repeats or hesitates for too long, they’ll be disqualified from that round and can join in once a new category is picked.
To keep it fun, give a time limit for each person to give their answer. This most likely gets people nervous and on the ball. The main point here is to be quick and not overthink!
Jenga and Uno Stacko are similar wherein you pull blocks out of a tower and re-stack them on top. To make it more fun, you can even label some blocks with an activity, like truth or dare, so whoever pulls out that block will have to do what the block reads.
The meeting room will most likely be filled with screams when the tower comes toppling down, so remember to shut the door!
If you’ve watched Squid Game, you’re probably familiar with this game. Of course, you play the not-so-deadly version.
Players will line up on one side of a room and one person will be on the opposite side. You can choose that one person randomly, or do a quick rock-paper-scissors game. This person will have to say ‘red light’ or ‘green light’ as the other players try to run up to tap them.
When the person says ‘green light’, everyone can move — but when they say ‘red light’, everyone has to freeze! Whoever is caught moving will be disqualified till the next round.
A classic childhood game, Simon says will get everyone up on their feet and moving!
A designated person will instruct players to do an action. They have to start with the keywords ‘Simon says…’, like ‘Simon says stand up’. Everyone will then have to follow ‘Simon’.
But, the tricky part comes in when Simon confuses everyone by leaving out ‘Simon says’. Whoever does the actions without the keywords will be kicked out of the game. For example, ‘Simon says touch your nose. Simon says touch the wall. Simon says hop on one foot. Tap the person next to you!’ If anyone taps the person next to them, they’ll lose.
Icebreakers can certainly do wonders for any meeting — whether they’re simple questions, activities, or even games.
Not only will introductions be easier, but people will feel like they know each other even though they just met that day. This can actually result in more engaging meetings and an increased level of trust and friendship among the participants.
One other thing to make all of these even more effective is to include great prizes for winners, this would get them pumped up right from the start.
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